A hooptie is better that this car
OHIO -- This car stays on the outs more than it can be driven, and Volvo of America's advice is use a Volvo repair shop for all repairs. Gheee, ya think? I coud hear the rattling of change in the representatives brain when she said that. I can imagine the only thing going through her small mind was "more money, more money, oh yeah!" She may get more money from some unsuspecting fool, but it will never be from me. I would not buy a Volvo again ever. I see newer models on Volvo dealership lots for less than I paid for this one, that should tell you something. Don't waste your money on future repairs, do your research and buy something worth your hard earned money. Even Consumer Reports listed this car as poor. (Too bad I purchased it before seeing the write up). Everything consumers said about it and then some has gone wrong.
I definitely would not recommend this vehicle to ANYONE. Since I purchased mine in 2002 I have had nothing but problems. If you still wish to buy a vehicle of this sort be prepared to replace the following items on a consistent basis, and the replacements are not inexpensive.
Inner and Outer Tie rod ends
Sway bar end links
control arm bushings
Upper spring seats
and basically any and everything pertaining to the suspension of the vehicle.
New information added 6/28/08
After reading some of the comments, let me add that I was having the car serviced at a Volvo authorized repair shop as well as the Volvo dealership repair center. I was going there so often, and my father in law who only owned Volvo's until the last 4 or 5 years has a friend that is a former Volvo repair man. My father in-law did all of his own work on his Volvo and never had any problems. He also helped in some of the repairs on mine. I remember going to the Volvo dealership repair center one time and they said the diagnostic would only take 30 minutes, it was over two hours, I had my 10 month old with me who ws more than fussy by then, and they said we can't find anything wrong. After two hours of doing whatever they did the car they could not find anything and still the car was not steering well, and was still making a grinding/clicking noise when turning. I had my father in-law and his friend look at it, and they immediately found the problem and fixed it. I was livid. The control arms and CV joint boots needed replacing, that is supposed to be one of the easiest things to diagnose in a steering, front end problem. I realized then I was dealing with a bunch of idiots at the dealer repair center. And did not feel comfortable going back to that place for repairs. Oh but they did find that I needed the turbo seal replaced, so they did that for $100. When I told my father in-law about that he said oh that's aboout a $10 part. Sure enough the next time I needed that done (they go out about every six months) we bought the part for $5.99 from the same repair center and replaced it ourselves in about 20 minutes. Such a rip off those places.
As for owning a high end car (I definitely do not consider Volvo a high end car) and the repairs needing to be done at their centers because they know and do so much more, I have to STRONGLY disagree. My vehicle prior to the Volvo was a BMW. I only took it to BMW when I lived in my home state. When I moved to California I did any and all work myself, and let me tell you, when I did the work once, I did not do the same work again over the next five years that I owned the car. In fact if someone had not hit me and totaled that car I would still be driving it today. At the time it was totaled I had just bought a house because I had no car payments, little outstanding debt and my spouse and I both had good reliable transportation. And I was staying home so on one income the last thing I wanted to do is buy a vehicle after buying a house just a few months earlier.
All in all, I just hope that if people get anything out of this information, just know that the name of a vehicle does not exactly mean it is of good or even reliable quality. Whatever you buy it is at risk for being junk, and I hate that I had to learn this the hard and expensive way. I just hope that someone else does not learn this lesson the same way. I appreciate being able to voice my three cents and hopefully help someone along the way.